The efforts to address the military dictatorship in Argentina (1976-1983) serve as an example of a comprehensive societal movement aimed at coming to terms with mass crimes. After a long period of impunity lasting until about 2005, the domestic human rights movement in conjunction with an international solidarity campaign managed to try and convict around 500 of those responsible for the state repression. Argentine society also addressed this violent history in literature, films, theatre and in contemporary art. In this regard, the experience in Argentina can be regarded as one of the most valuable examples of the fight against impunity and forgetting. This is in part due to the central role played by activists as part of a transnational human rights movement. We will open the event on Thursday 29 September 2016 with two guests and a film from Argentina.
The film DESEMBARCOS – Es gibt kein Vergessen (engl. DESEMBARCOS – When Memory Speaks) originated in a film workshop run by Jeanine Meerapfel in Buenos Aires in 1986. The film looks at the vivid memories of some of those who played key roles in the country’s dictatorial history, and examines the societal debate on the impunity laws due to take effect around the time the film was made. Jeanine Meerapfel, the director of the film and current president of the Akademie der Künste, will be joined by the Argentine human rights activist Estela de Carlotto (Association of Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo) giving her account of the Argentine experience in conversation by Wolfgang Kaleck.
Wolfgang Kaleck: Kampf gegen Straflosigkeit – Argentiniens Militärs vor Gericht, Berlin 2010
Comisión Nacional sobre la Desaparición de Personas: Nunca Más (Never Again), Buenos Aires 1984
Tino Thun: Menschenrechte und Außenpolitik, Bundesrepublik Deutschland-Argentinien 1976-1983, Dissertation, Bremen, 1985
Bibliothek des Widerstands: Dass du zwei Tage schweigst unter der Folter! Elisabeth Käsemann, Klaus Zieschank, die Diktatur in Argentinien und die Leichen im Keller des Auswärtigen Amtes, Hamburg 2010
Accompanied by two films:
…dass du zwei Tage schweigst unter der Folter!, Germany, 1991, 45 min. directed by: Frieder Wagner, Osvaldo Bayer
Todesursache Schweigen, Germany, 2003, 45 min, directed by: Frieder Wagner, Osvaldo Bayer
Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung: Vergangenheitspolitik in Chile, Argentinien und Uruguay:
Selected material on the ECCHR website: